Every fall, nature offers us a beautiful show as the trees change color. But what to do with the leaves once they start falling from the trees? Bartholomew County residents have more than one option to properly dispose of the leaves.
If you live within the city limits of Columbus, you can participate in the Loose Leaf Collection Program. The collection of residential sheets will be offered from October 14 to December 13. The leaves will be collected on the sidewalk (not on private streets) on the same day as the garbage collection. The leaves should be on the sidewalk at 7 a.m.
This program is only for single sheets and sheets placed in bags will not be collected. The leaves should exclude any brush / branches or trash. For more information, contact the city's sanitation department at 812-376-2509.
If you live outside the city limits, but in the county, you can bring your leaves to the Columbus / Bartholomew County landfill, located behind the recycling center at 720 S. Mapleton Street. Remove the leaves from any bag and make sure the leaves are free of debris and trash. All the discarded leaves at the yard waste site are placed in large piles called rows and processed in compost.
Now is a good time to take advantage of the compost made from the leaves. The compost spread over gardens and flower beds in the fall returns nutrients to the soil. If you load the compost yourself, it is absolutely free. We have a loading program every Friday afternoon from 2 to 4:30 p.m. until October 25. For $ 10, we will load your van or small trailer with your choice of a tablespoon of mulch or compost. Stop by the Columbus / Bartholomew Recycling Center office to pay and get a loading ticket.
Another option that does not involve raking or bagging is to place the leaves on the lawn with a lawnmower. This method improves the quality of the soil by adding organic matter and nutrients as the leaves decompose through the nature recycling process.
Regardless of how you handle them, it is important to dispose of the sheets properly. Leaves and other garden debris should never be deposited in storm drains, where they can become clogged and cause flooding located in your neighborhood. Any vegetation residue trapped in storm drains ends in rivers and streams. When the vegetation rots in the water, the process removes oxygen from the water and reduces the overall quality of the water.
For more information on leaf removal or the mulch and compost program, visit our website at bcswmd.com or call 812-376-2614.
Jessica Norcross is the education coordinator of the Bartholomew County Solid Waste Management District. Contact her by email at [email protected] or call 812-376-2614 to schedule a tour, program or presentation.